Blast process for adhesive deflash

Hailing from Canada, the Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM, Montreal, QC) acquainted first-day CAMX 2014 visitors with its trademarked Envirostrip dry blast process.

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Hailing from Canada, the Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM, Montreal, QC) acquainted first-day CAMX 2014 visitors with its trademarked Envirostrip dry blast process. ADM calls it the “fastest, most economical method” for removing adhesive flash from both composite and metal-bonded parts. The company credits a specially developed blast media made, notably, from engineered agricultural products. ADM sees the need for adhesive removal growing as aircraft manufacturers gain greater confidence in adhesive bonding as a way to reduce the high cost of mechanical fastening systems.

Adhesive removal is a critical task because adhesive bleeds out of joined parts under pressure during cure in the autoclave. As a result, adhesive residue, or flash, accumulates along bond lines.  (This is, in fact, a necessary result. The absence of flash is a warning that insufficient adhesive was used or gaps in the adhesive line might be present.) Traditional methods for flash removal are grinding, hand sanding, chemical dissolution and scraping, or a combination of these methods. All are labor intensive and time consuming. And can damage the part. ADM’s eStrip GPX blast media, developed from starch, provides the abrasive for a low-pressure, light abrasion blasting technique. Use correctly, the blast media leaves most bond primers intact, eliminating the additional step of reapplying primer.